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What are Skype and Vsee?

These are free telephone systems that can be downloaded via the internet. Once two people are connected via Skype or Vsee they can see each other on screen. This is superior to communicating by telephone, which some therapist/supervisors offer, as both parties can see each other. This enhances communication as so much of what we notice about another is gathered from facial expressions. However, while face to face is generally to be preferred to distance supervision, there are situations where Skype or Vsee comes into its own (see below).

Skype and Vsee have different approaches to confidentiality, which affects how these systems can be used, according to UKCP. Both Skype and Vsee are suitable for conducting supervisory sessions. However, Skype is not considered suitable for therapy/counselling because of concerns over confidentiality.

Keeping the above in mind, what types of situations work best with Skype or Vsee?

Generally with individual one-to-one sessions.

When the client is unable to travel or lives a long way from the therapist/supervisor. Even in this situation, where travel difficulties, illness or financial constraints make it hard to manage 100% face to face sessions, it is better if at least some sessions are face-to face.

How does it work?

When the therapist/supervisor and the client agree to work together via Skype or Vsee,a time and day for the session is agreed. Normally, Swift requires the client to call the therapist/supervisor involved (note calls are free). After that, sessions go on very similarly to face to face ones.